Elizabeth is correct. The author's mother and father met while her mother was in the hospital. Her mother, a trapeze artist, had a terrible fall when lightning stuck the pole of the tent. She lost her husband and her unborn child in that fall. She also seriously injured her arm and burned her hands. Her father was a doctor specializing the arms and legs. During the war he was stationed at a base that trained soldiers to parachute. So, he really didn't get to see much of the world. Her mother, on the other hand, was very well traveled. She had traveled with the circus to Venice, Rome, Mexico,all through France and Spain and all over Europe before settling in New York. She had been an orphan when, as a child, she was taken in by the Avalons and taught to fly on the trapeze, so she never learned to read and write. The author's father taught her to read and write and would grade her exercises for her. In return, she would tell him of her adventures in places he longed to visit.
They met by how the mother was in a trapeze accident and she lost her baby and husband, and someone broke her arm.... she ended up in a hospital and thats where she meet her new husband who offered to teacher her to read and write because she didnt know how. :)